See A Florida Manatee

Would you like the experience of seeing a manatee in its natural habitat? Manatee Sightseeing and Wildlife Adventures in Naples, Florida offers four exciting ways to see manatees by boat!

Each eco-tour offers an opportunity for an up-close and personal visit with these amazing, gentle creatures.

The boats accommodate 6 passengers, are completely covered, and operate with no high speeds or waves, are ADA compliant, wheelchair friendly, pet friendly, and they have a guide that can sign for the deaf.

Manatee Sightseeing Wildlife Adventures eco boat tours Naples, Florida

Photo courtesy Manatee Sightseeing & Wildlife Adventures

Tours are available daily year-round. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 239.642.8818 or booking online. Get a coupon for your eco-tour here!

Manatees, also known as sea cows, are large, gentle, and slow-moving gray-brown aquatic mammals with bodies that taper to a large flat, paddle-shaped tail. They have two flippers with three to four nails on each, and their head and face are wrinkled with whiskers on the snout. These gentle giants can grow to 12 feet in length, weigh up to 3500 pounds, and may live to be 50 years old!

Manatee swimming by mangroves near Naples and Marco Island, Florida.

Photo courtesy Manatee Sightseeing & Wildlife Adventures

Florida or West Indian Manatees can be found in Florida’s shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas. There are an estimated 7,500 manatees in Florida.

Florida was declared a manatee sanctuary in the 1700s, and hunting manatees was prohibited. Even though manatees are protected, powerboats remain the greatest threat and sadly each year many die due to injuries from accidental collisions with boats; this is why it is so important to mind “No Wake” or “Slow Manatee” zones when operating a boat on Florida’s waterways.

Photo credit Shutterstock

Most of the manatees’ time is spent eating, resting, and in travel. They are complete herbivores whose diet consists solely of aquatic plants and sea grass. Manatees can consume 10-15% of their body weight daily in vegetation – a rate of 100 pounds a day!

They graze for food along the bottom and on the surface between 6-8 hours a day and eat by using their divided upper lip, which is very flexible, to grasp and take in aquatic plants.

Just like dolphins, whales, and seals, manatees are air-breathing marine mammals and must periodically surface for air. Manatees may rest submerged at the bottom or just below the surface, coming up to breathe on an average of every three to five minutes.

Here’s a fun fact; the manatee’s closest relative is the elephant and the hyrax (a small furry rodent-like animal). 

Written by:

Nita Ettinger is Co-publisher for Siesta Publications Inc. and the Editor in Chief for Must Do Visitor Guides. Must Do Visitor Guides provides Southwest Florida visitor information through printed magazines and the website Must Do magazines are published bi-annually and are available at no cost in Sarasota, Lee, and Collier County Chamber of Commerce, visitor information centers, select Southwest Florida hotels, and wherever free publications can be found.